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ROCK Notes for February 26th, 2014

posted February 26, 2014, 9:27 am by ROCKthusiast | Filed Under Rock(thusiast) Notes | comment Leave a Comment


ROCKnotesGet happy with Pharrell

Between his vocal contributions on “Blurred Lines” and “Get Lucky”, Pharrell Williams was heard absolutely everywhere in 2013. That music ubiquity is only going to continue with the release of his own album G I R L on March 3rd. If anyone has the makings of being the next big crossover star, it’s this multitasking hip-hop, R&B and funk dynamo. In addition to guest appearances from Miley Cyrus, Alicia Keys and Justin Timberlake, it will feature “Happy”, first heard as part of the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack. If for whatever reason this song hasn’t burrowed its way into your eardrums yet, I command you to spend some time at 24HoursofHappy.com, where you can watch 360 videos of celebrities like Steve Carell, Miranda Cosgrove, the occasional minion, as well as ordinary Los Angelenos creatively dancing along to Pharrell’s infectious toe-tapper.

York Region tagging along with Hedley

While the winter cold apparently isn’t done with us yet, one of Canada’s hottest concert tours is making its way across the country. Abbotsford, BC natives Hedley are supporting their fifth studio album Wild Life, led by crazy-popular single “Anything”. The first half of the tour, with stops in nearby Oshawa (2/28) and Barrie (3/3), will have Vaughan Celebrates Canada Day alumni Danny Fernandes and JRDN as openers (as well as Alyssa Reid). Starting on March 27th at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre, it will be Atlantic Canadian rapper Classified and high-energy duo Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker. Originally from Stouffville, USS members Ash Boo-Schultz and Human Kebab are also promoting a new “strum n’ bass” heavy album called Advanced Basics. Tickets for all dates can be found via Ticketmaster.ca or HedleyOnline.com. A sure-fire way to cure the winter blahs!

An unfortunate anniversary

As an admitted ’90s grunger, I have been dreading yet at the same time looking forward to 2014. Come April, it will have been 20 years since Kurt Cobain’s death. The former Nirvana frontman’s hometown of Aberdeen, Washington has proclaimed his birthdate of February 20th as “Kurt Cobain Day,” and unveiled an unusual-looking statue in the screaming singer’s honour. It depicts a sitting Cobain in ripped jeans playing an acoustic guitar, but what has some people really up in arms is the single tear coming out of his right eye. Besides the unflattering “Crying Jesus” comparisons I’ve heard, it kind of seems in contrast to the persona Cobain symbolized for a generation of angry youths. Maybe the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will do a better job immortalizing him when Nirvana is inducted as a band on April 10th.

Watch: Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake – History of Rap 5

Jimmy Fallon certainly finished his first week as the new host of The Tonight Show with a bang. If having U2, Lady Gaga, Tim McGraw and Arcade Fire as musical guests wasn’t enough, good friend Justin Timberlake dropped by on the Friday, Feb. 21st episode to perform the fifth installment of their “History of Rap”. If you’re not familiar with the recurring skit, Fallon and Timberlake sing snippets from landmark hip-hop songs, sometimes in chronological order, but always backed by the best house band on late night television, The Roots. This time around, they hilariously managed to squeeze in parts of 23 tracks in just over 5 minutes, including classics like N.W.A.’s “Straight Outta Compton”, the Salt-n-Pepa and En Vogue collab “Whatta Man”, “Started from the Bottom” by Drake and even The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme!

– Gilles LeBlanc AKA @ROCKthusiast

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